Annapolis Update — 2/22/13

Friend,

Maryland is headed in the right direction. Yesterday, the death penalty repeal passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee; it will be on the Senate floor on Tuesday. We are one step closer to fixing a glaring problem with our justice system and saving the state millions of dollars. I will continue to do whatever I can to help shepherd the bill through the House and send it to Governor O’Malley’s desk.

As for offshore wind power, the House did its part Friday–the bill passed 86-48. Now, we wait and hope that the Senate follows suit. If this bill passes, Maryland will position itself as a leader in the renewable energy movement. The project will create hundreds of jobs, but that is just the beginning. You see, Maryland can carve out a niche in this arena that can attract investment and motivate other states to join us in being part of the solution to our energy crisis rather than the problem.

“Fracking” is another vital front in this fight. As you know, I introduced a bill that will prohibit this process of natural gas extraction. In Maryland, we are listening and have been for some time. Many of us understand that what is billed as a panacea is frequently far from it. Such is the case with natural gas. Significant amounts of methane leak during fracking, rendering it more of a greenhouse gas contributor than coal. What is more, even if regulations are adopted to address this concern, fracking requires massive amounts of water–approximately, 3.5 million gallons per well head. As sources of clean water dwindle worldwide, how can we justify that
resource allocation?

Add in the opportunity cost–researching fracking in Maryland prevents us from focusing on developing renewable energy sources like wind and solar–and that Maryland sits on a relatively minuscule amount of natural gas (undermining the argument that it would bring a significant amount of jobs to our state) and it should be easy to understand why Marylanders like me aren’t drinking the fracking kool aid.

So yes, I want to ban fracking in Maryland. No moratorium. No myopic regulations. And no adding another method of
releasing carbon and methane into our imperiled atmosphere.

Best,
Shane

p.s.– On Friday, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage procession from New York to DC in 1913. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go until there is true equality between men and women. We must use this moment as an impetus to pass laws that move us closer to realizing that goal. The memory of those who we honored this morning deserves as much.

Annapolis Update — 2/8/13

Friend,

A vibrant and vigorous democracy relies on voter participation, that is why I firmly support Governor O’Malley’s proposal to expand early voting. The bill would increase the number of days when early voting could take place, add three more early voting sites in Montgomery County, and allow same day early voter registration.

I have also been researching what it would take to allow Marylanders to vote at any precinct in their county and may file a bill next session that would permit this practice.

Please let me know what you think of this proposal.

Best,
Shane

p.s.– Three of my bills made the Maryland League of Conservation Voters “Environmental Hot List” this week. For more information click here.

By Authority: Friends of Shane Robinson; Mary Robinson, Treasurer.